Cl2 Lewis Structure in 6 Steps (With Images)

Cl2 lewis structure

So you have seen the above image by now, right?

Let me explain the above image in short.

Cl2 lewis structure has two Chlorine atoms (Cl) which contain a single bond between them. There are 3 lone pairs on both the Chlorine atoms (Cl).

If you haven’t understood anything from the above image of Cl2 (chlorine) lewis structure, then just stick with me and you will get the detailed step by step explanation on drawing a lewis structure of Cl2.

So let’s move to the steps of drawing the lewis structure of Cl2.

Steps of drawing Cl2 lewis structure

Step 1: Find the total valence electrons in Cl2 molecule

In order to find the total valence electrons in a Cl2 (chlorine) molecule, first of all you should know the valence electrons present in a single chlorine atom.
(Valence electrons are the electrons that are present in the outermost orbit of any atom.)

Here, I’ll tell you how you can easily find the valence electrons of chlorine using a periodic table.

Total valence electrons in Cl2 molecule

→ Valence electrons given by chlorine atom:

Chlorine is group 17 element on the periodic table. [1] Hence the valence electrons present in chlorine is 7.

You can see the 7 valence electrons present in the chlorine atom as shown in the above image.


Total valence electrons in Cl2 molecule = 7(2) = 14.

Step 2: Select the central atom

For selecting the center atom, you have to remember that the atom which is less electronegative remains at the center.

Now here the given molecule is Cl2 (chlorine). Both the atoms are same, so you can select any of the atoms as a center atom.

Cl2 step 1

Let’s assume the right side chlorine as a central atom.

Step 3: Connect each atoms by putting an electron pair between them

Now in the Cl2 molecule, you have to put the electron pairs between both the chlorine atoms (Cl).

Cl2 step 2

This indicates that both the chlorine (Cl) atoms are chemically bonded with each other in a Cl2 molecule.

Step 4: Make the outer atoms stable. Place the remaining valence electrons pair on the central atom.

Now in this step, you have to check the stability of the outer atom.

Here in the sketch of Cl2 molecule, we have assumed the right side chlorine atom as a center atom. So the left side chlorine is the outer atom.

Hence you have to make the left side chlorine stable.

You can see in the below image that the left side chlorine atom is forming an octet and hence it is stable.

Cl2 step 3

Also, in step 1 we have calculated the total number of valence electrons present in the Cl2 molecule.

The Cl2 molecule has a total 14 valence electrons and out of these, only 8 valence electrons are used in the above sketch.

So the number of electrons which are left = 14 – 8 = 6.

You have to put these 6 electrons on the right side chlorine atom in the above sketch of Cl2 molecule.

Cl2 step 4

Now let’s proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Check the octet on the central atom. If it does not have octet, then shift the lone pair to form a double bond or triple bond.

In this step, you have to check whether the central (i.e right side) chlorine atom (Cl) is stable or not.

In order to check the stability of this chlorine (Cl) atom, we have to check whether it is forming an octet or not.

Cl2 step 5

You can see from the above picture that both the chlorine atoms are forming an octet. That means they have 8 electrons.

And hence the chlorine atoms are stable.

Now let’s proceed to the final step to check whether the lewis structure of Cl2 is stable or not.

Step 6: Check the stability of lewis structure

Now you have come to the final step in which you have to check the stability of lewis structure of Cl2.

The stability of lewis structure can be checked by using a concept of formal charge.

In short, now you have to find the formal charge on both the chlorine (Cl) atoms present in the Cl2 molecule.

For calculating the formal charge, you have to use the following formula;

Formal charge = Valence electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 – Nonbonding electrons

You can see the number of bonding electrons and nonbonding electrons in the image given below.

Cl2 step 6

For Chlorine (Cl) atom:
Valence electron = 7 (because chlorine is in group 17)
Bonding electrons = 2
Nonbonding electrons = 6

Formal charge=Valence electrons(Bonding electrons)/2Nonbonding electrons

From the above calculations of formal charge, you can see that both the chlorine (Cl) atoms have a “zero” formal charge.

This indicates that the above lewis structure of Cl2 is stable and there is no further change in the above structure of Cl2.

In the above lewis dot structure of Cl2, you can also represent each bonding electron pair (:) as a single bond (|). By doing so, you will get the following lewis structure of Cl2.

Lewis structure of Cl2

I hope you have completely understood all the above steps.

For more practice and better understanding, you can try other lewis structures listed below.

Try (or at least See) these lewis structures for better understanding:

SCl2 lewis structurePF5 lewis structure
H2SO4 lewis structureEthanol (C2H5OH) lewis structure
BeF2 lewis structureOH- lewis structure
About author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.

Read more about our Editorial process.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top